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DrSugar Answers: High Heart Rate After Running?

DrSugar is in the house and answering your questions.

Dear Doc,
I work out regularly, usually running, and I recently decided to monitor my heart rate. I am 22 years old and after a run my heart rate is in the 190s and sometimes over 200. I don't feel that I am overworking myself but that just seems too high. I was just wondering if this is normal or if there could be something wrong. I have a family history of hyperthyroid and wonder if this could be indicative of that.
Hearty Gal

Thanks for the question and I am sure you are not alone in this. To see what I have to say on the matter,


When something seems wrong with your body, it’s always a good idea to discuss that problem or concern with your doctor. When talking about heart rate and exercise, there are three important factors: resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, and target heart rate. Estimating your max heart rate is an inexact science but can be estimated, in young people, with a simple formula: 220 minus your age (check out the target heart rate calculator in the FitSugar Health Guide). Your max heart rate would be 220 minus 22, which equals 198 beats per minute. Remember that this is max heart and you should be working between 60 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. Occasionally when sprinting and doing interval training, your heart rate will go above 90 percent max, but you always follow this intensity with a recovery period. I am curious how you are monitoring your heart rate. Taking it manually mid- or post-run is generally inaccurate as are the hand sensor heart rate monitors on most cardio machines. I suggest investing in a personal heart rate monitor, if you haven't already. For more information on exercise and heart rate FitSugar has some information that may help you: Figuring Target Heart Rate, Heart Rate Recovery, and What Is a Good Resting Heart Rate.

Measuring your resting heart rate is also an important part of this discussion. A normal resting heart rate for a highly athletic person is usually between 50 and 75 beats per minute. A resting heart rate greater than 100 usually indicates the diagnosis of tachycardia (fast heart rate) and could require further tests. Another important question is do you have any other symptoms? Hyperthyroidism can cause a feeling of skipped heartbeats called palpitations, which can be uncomfortable or unnerving. It can also cause atrial fibrillation, which is associated with a fast and irregular heart rate. If you are at all worried you could have a problem, I recommend talking to your primary doctor about your symptoms.

If you have a question for DrSugar, send me a private message here and I will forward it to the good doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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cowboy547 cowboy547 4 years
\u00a0@Nicolarunner \u00a0HI Im no Dr. but i think i would\u00a0 talk to another Dr.\u00a0 and go from there. \u00a0
cowboy547 cowboy547 4 years
Im 51 have a resting heart rate of 55, max heart rate of 167 at a pace of 8mile per hr for 20 min. I weigh 158 bls. is this a good max heart rate for me.
vickyy vickyy 4 years
i was just wondering what a 15 year olds heart rate should normally be after say a 15 minute jog ? and a 15 minute walk ?\u00a0
Nicolarunner Nicolarunner 8 years
Hiii everyone just researching irregular heartbeats and it came up with this page!! OK i seriously cannot take sitting at home any longer. A week ago i was told i had low potassium levels, low zince, cholestoral, low iron and low protein. Then after an ECG, the doctor found i had an irregular heart beat. I went back a week later and my potassium levels are back to normal and i'm on suppliments but my heartbeat is still irregular, however, it has gotten better. The doctor said i cannot run. Before diagnosis i was running close to every second day. I love running, i love how it makes me feel - healthy and motivated about everything. Without any exercise i just feel moody and lazy. What can i do? And what is the risk if i go for a run with my heart condition? (I'm 18 by the way) If someone could reply it would make my day so much more interesting thanks
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I have a Polar HR monitor that I strap on before working out. I don't really take a reading on it until I'm fairly warmed up because you have to have quite a bit of sweat on the contacts to get a decent reading. I try to keep my HR up above about 135-160 BPM during the majority of my workout, but I recover very quickly and within about 15 minutes of my workout ending, I'm back to around 50 BPM.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
yeap, those handle monitors are ridicilous, i just start warming up and i'm already in 140-160...
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 8 years
You should also try getting a MAP test. This is where you kinda become a guinea pig put your heart rate monitor on and this face mask that is hooked up to the machine and then you run for about 10 to 20 mins. Its pretty simple and I would totally suggest it. It assess what your Zones are.
shepptacular shepptacular 8 years
I sometimes find myself at 200 bpm and I'm 24. I use the polar HR monitor as well but I think I should consult my doctor about this.
telewyo telewyo 8 years
I got a Polar HR monitor for christmas last year and found out that I have this same issue. My typical workout range that I hold comfortably during an hour long spin class is 175-185 and during intervals I can easily peak up to 195 which is way over my target HR. I asked my doctor about it and she said that I was fine because I have a low resting HR (55 bpm) and my recovery time is very good (I'll drop 40-50 bpm during the cooldown track). She said all the target HR stuff is based on averages and I'm just outside of the averages. You should check your resting HR and recovery time and then talk to your doctor just to be sure.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
thanks for explaining this to us. i usually monitor my heartrate while i'm working out at the gym by using the handles that measure it and there are times that it's higher than it should be - yet i don't feel like i'm over exerting myself. i get to be a bit scared sometimes when i see that it's way too high - but if i don't feel like i'm breathing heavy or even working very hard - i don't always think that it's accurate. do you you ever recommend getting those watches or personal heart rate monitors that athletes sometimes have? i want to make sure that i'm being careful with my workouts so i don't over do it.
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